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Wine in them hills (Napa Valley, California – Day Two)

Bright and early on my second day in the Napa Valley I drove up into the Spring Mountains, hoping that the weather would improve, as my first day had been rainy and gloomy. I had corresponded with JJ McCarthy from Cain Vineyard and Winery before I left, and arranged to visit at 8:30am, so I got a really great view from a lot higher up. The Cain vineyard is at least 650m above sea level, whereas the Napa Valley floor is only about 200m, so elevation is clearly on their side. The soils on Spring Mountain are also a lot tougher, so the vines have to work harder to find water and nutrients to thrive. One of the first things I noticed were fewer and smaller bunches of fruit than in the valley floor. Tasting the fruit was thrilling, as it is the first time I can remember actually tasting terroir in grapes, and the cabernet sauvignon tasted like wine!

Cain vineyards covered in fog

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